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Solomon Islands denies dock to the Sentinel class cutter USCG Oliver Henry.

| 2022

According to information published by Opex360 on August 30, 2022, the Sentinel-class cutter USCG Oliver Henry was denied a port of call in the Solomon Islands, where China is expanding its influence.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Sentinel-class cutter USCG Oliver Henry (Picture source: US DoD)

In late March 2022, the Solomon Islands Government confirmed that it was drafting a security pact with China that would allow the deployment of Chinese military and security forces in the country, naval deployments, and the establishment of a military base.

This acknowledgment came after a draft of the security agreement was leaked online. In response, the Australian and New Zealand Governments expressed concerns that the establishment of a Chinese military presence in the Solomon Islands would have serious implications for peace and security in the Pacific region.

In response, the Chinese Government defended law enforcement and bilateral cooperation with the Solomon Islands and disputed Australian criticism that Beijing was coercing the Solomon Islands.

About the Sentinel-class cutter

The Sentinel-class cutter, also known as Fast Response Cutter due to its program name, is part of the United States Coast Guard's Deepwater program.

She is built by the Louisiana-based firm Bollinger Shipyards, using a design from the Netherlands-based Damen Group, with the Sentinel design based on the company's Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessel.

The FRC is powered by two 4,300 kW (5,800 shp) MTU diesel engines and one 75 kW (101 shp) bow thruster. She can reach a top speed of 28 knots with a maximum cruising range of 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km).

The ship is fitted with one remote-controlled weapon station armed with one 25 mm Bushmaster automatic cannon and four crew-served M2HB .50-caliber machine guns.

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